Good Essay On Manslaughter: Differentiations And Definitions
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Involuntary and Voluntary manslaughter
The crime of manslaughter is defined as the “illegal killing of another person without any malicious aforethought-this being the intent to kill or having a thoughtless valuation for life.” In this light, the absence of animosity on the part of the perpetrator can be seen as the crime of manslaughter having a lower degree for “moral blame” compared to second- or first-degree murder. However, there are those that contend that the crime of “felony murder,” which is a type of murder in the first degree, also has a reduced degree of ‘blameworthiness’ compared to some cases of manslaughter. Here, though manslaughter involves the killing of another person, this is considered as a lesser crime compared to murder.
The crime of manslaughter can be separated into two types. “Voluntary manslaughter” is also termed as a “crime of passion.” This occurs under the following circumstances-one, when a person is strongly incensed, or when there are circumstances that would provoke a reasonably-thinking individual, and when the person takes the life of another owing to that strong provocation. To qualify as “voluntary,” the person must not have enough time to regain his/her composure, and in the heat of the moment, acts to kill the person.
Compared to “voluntary manslaughter,” the crime of “involuntary manslaughter” is the accidental slaying of another stemming from “criminal negligence” or reckless actions. In this light, the defendant may be aware of the risk and potential threat of an action, and chooses to disregard the risks and that disregard resulted in the needless death of another. For example, a driver with a number of “DUI” convictions, knowing the risks of driving while drunk, still chooses to drive nevertheless and causes a fatal crash on the road (NOLO, 2014, p. 1).
NOLO (2014). “Murder vs. manslaughter.” Retrieved 14 January 2015 from <http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/homicide-murder-manslaughter-32637-2.html
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